Femipedia is a somewhat secretive guerilla movement aimed at creating more articles about women on Wikipedia, an admirable aim indeed. Andrea Andersson is the student behind the project.
Femipedia is my degree project from Beckmans College of Design, says Andrea. It aims at getting more people to write articles about women in the digital encyclopedia, Wikipedia. Today, only about a fifth of the biographical articles on Wikipedia are about women, which I think is genuinely sad. The idea with Femipedia is to inform of this lack of articles about women on Facebook, inspire people to start writing about the missing women, and simplify the process by accounting for some of the women that aren’t on Wikipedia.
What inspired you to create Femipedia?
– I wanted my degree project to be of real use, and something that could make a difference for a cause that I’m interested in. When I noticed the skewed statistics on Wikipedia, I knew straight away what I wanted my degree project to be about. That’s how Femipedia came about.
Almost everyone with a computer and an internet connection uses Wikipedia in some way or another. How do you relate to Wikipedia?
– I’ve always loved reading about different subjects on Wikipedia, since I can click on the blue links and learn about additional topics. Since I’m a generally curious person it suits my needs perfectly. My favorite subjects on Wikipedia are historic events and persons, but I read about most stuff there, since Wikipedia is almost always one of the top search results on Google.
What do you want to accomplish with Femipedia?
– My expectations regards both the readers and the writers. I hope that someone who hasn’t previously written anything on Wikipedia will notice the need, and write an article about a woman. Preferably more than one. From my perspective, which has been that of the reader, I wish for more articles about women because I personally want to gain even more female paragons, and to see more clearly that history wasn’t only written by men. I also hope that Femipedia will live on even after I finish my degree course. I need a willing person to continue the Facebook account when I’m no longer able to do so.
Do you think in the end that a more gender equal Wikipedia could influence how women are perceived?
– My experience with popular history is that it has been terrible at noticing and retelling the stories of women, what they have done and contributed with. This has given me the notion, and I assume it has been the same for other people, that women have led uninteresting lives, and not really contributed much to the development of our society. This notion will persist if we don’t recognize the insufficient historical writing and start to write more about women and what they do.
– Speaking only for myself, I believe that someone who’s given birth to hundreds of children is equally worth noticing as someone who started a war that killed just as many, even though I can understand that not everyone feels the same way. How events are valued in historical writing are probably affected a lot by how people have done before, and also by the gender of the person writing.
Find out more about Femipedia and make a contribution here.